Afinety Wins Cloud Rainmaker Award From Ingram Micro

Phoenix, AZ, April 20, 2017– Afinety was awarded with the highly esteemed Cloud Rainmaker Award from Ingram Micro Cloud at the Ingram Micro International Cloud Conference.

Afinety’s partnership with Ingram Micro Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) resulted in the migration of over 50 law firms to the cloud, including over 1300 Workspaces and over 225 Server Instances.  Company President and Partner Kevin J. McCarthy was on hand to accept the award for the top cloud reseller.

“Our partnership with Ingram Micro Cloud and AWS has enabled us to increase our cloud business and offer the finest, most secure cloud solution for law firms.  This partnership has been a key to our success in the cloud, and to our consistently positive client satisfaction results,” stated Kevin.

 

Kevin J. McCarthy accepts top cloud award from Ingram Micro

Kevin J. McCarthy, President and Partner of Afinety, accepts Cloud Rainmaker award from Ingram Micro

 

Afinety provides IT Services and Cloud Solutions specifically designed for Law Firms to succeed!  

Click here for more information about our awarding winning Afinety Cloud Platform.

How law firms can use cloud to drive IT transformation

 

Legacy operations are no longer viable as organizations strive to keep up with customer demands and competing businesses. While tried-and-true systems might offer a familiar pattern, they are becoming much harder and more costly to maintain and support. Current solutions also might not have the necessary features or capabilities for scaling and performing effectively in the future.

Organization leaders must take action to transform their IT infrastructure into a system that will meet long-term goals. Cloud computing, in particular, will be a key piece of making this effort a reality. There are a few ways that law firms can leverage the cloud to drive IT transformation:

“A strategic partner understands your industry and how cloud technology can solve your pain points.”

1. Use the provider as a strategic partner

Your cloud provider should take on the role as a strategic partner that understands your industry and how cloud technology can solve your pain points. A recent study by 451 Research revealed that 80 percent of organizations will require moderate or significant transformations to their IT environments within the next five years to keep pace with business requirements. As a result, many businesses have increased spending in cloud technology, and 22 percent have adopted a cloud-first approach.

With this much investment and focus on cloud-based solutions, you must ensure that your provider is by your side as a strategic partner. A capable vendor will position infrastructure and technological innovation alongside meeting business requirements. This includes meeting delivery expectations for uptime, security and technical expertise. With a strategic cloud partner, law firms can leverage the technology to drive IT transformation and yield benefits.

2. Enable mobile through cloud accessibility

Traditionally, legal practices have managed cases through a system of physical file folders. The problem is, lawyers don’t just operate out of an office – they go to the courthouse, meet clients and do other fieldwork. Files can easily get lost during transport or might be forgotten in the office. Lawyers then don’t have the necessary information for their case, leaving them unprepared. Clients expect lawyers to give the best advice possible, but lawyers require easy file access in order to make informed decisions.

The cloud’s biggest advantage is arguably its ability to be accessed from anywhere on any device. This means that lawyers can view necessary files on their computer and then have that same information accessible on their mobile phone or tablet when they go into court. As caseloads get bigger and more complex, digital versions also will cut down on the paper and keep all relevant documents in the same place, Digitalist Magazine stated.

Afinety Cloud Platform will enable mobile functionality for law firms.Cloud will enable mobile functionality for law firms.

3. Ensure disaster recovery capabilities

Law firms host a significant amount of sensitive data in physical and digital forms. What happens if this information is inaccessible, corrupted or stolen? Disasters come in a number of forms and it will be important to ensure that all data is backed up effectively to minimize downtime and resume operations within your law firm.

Cloud technology is a great addition to business continuity and disaster recovery strategies. Changes to files are seamlessly synced with cloud versions to ensure that you have the most updated information. However, industry regulations will dictate how this data must be protected. You must ensure that data is securely transferred and stored and identify how users are authenticated, TechTarget stated. If possible, two-factor authentication should be implemented to keep sensitive information safe.  The Afinety Cloud Platform offers Multi-Factor authentication for added protection and security.

Law firms can utilize cloud to innovate their IT infrastructure. The disaster recovery capabilities, mobile functionality and strategic presence of a cloud vendor will help legal practices optimize performance and better serve their clients.

Afinety_How Can Your Law Firm Take Advantage of Mobile Techologies_white paper

How law firms can benefit from managed services

 

Setting up and maintaining an internal IT infrastructure can be a challenge for any law firm. Lawyers, aides and other personnel are busy with critical tasks, leaving little time to focus on their IT development. Legal practices should look to leverage managed services for their IT needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest ways that managed services can benefit your law firm:

1. Skilled personnel

Legal practices come in a variety of sizes. For the small to medium-sized ones, it can be difficult to attract a qualified in-house IT expert, based on resources and opportunities for advancement. This can result in hiring personnel who don’t have the experience or skills necessary to suit your business IT needs.

Managed service providers have experts on hand who are well-versed in the latest technology and trends. They are constantly looking ahead to stay on pace with industry changes and ensure that you can take advantage of valuable hardware and software assets. This will save considerable costs and time associated with recruiting, training and employing an internal IT workforce.

MSPs have skilled personnel to provide round the clock support_AfinetyMSPs have skilled personnel to provide round the clock support.

2. Diverse contract options

Every law firm is different, and your solution should reflect this. Managed service providers offer a variety of services and contract options to choose from that will fit your unique requirements. Bundled services might be perfect, whereas a la carte options might be better to pick out specific functions. As Law Technology Today contributor Eric Hoffmaster noted, providers might also have a fixed-price contract, offering unlimited support for a set price. You can take advantage of monitoring and remote guidance 24/7/365.

Many decision-makers worry about buying a solution that doesn’t have the full suite of assets for their needs, or paying for features they don’t need. By teaming up with a managed services provider, you will have a number of services and tailoring options available. Solutions can be customized based on your users and functionality expectations. It also helps to have a vendor who is experienced with serving your industry. The managed services provider should have a proven track record of success in the legal sector, demonstrating that they uphold compliance requirements and can deliver on their promises.

“Managed services don’t have to replace internal IT. “

3. Less reliance on internal IT

For legal practices that have internal IT personnel, they can still take advantage of managed services. IT departments receive numerous calls and tickets per day, making it difficult to address all issues quickly. By offloading some of this burden onto a managed service provider, internal IT personnel can handle other tasks and explore other avenues for growth. As CIO’s Thor Olavsrud noted, managed services don’t have to replace internal IT. They can instead complement internal IT capabilities to focus on more strategic projects and save costs.

An MSP manages servers and hardware on their end, reducing your overall investment in this area. A good vendor will also look to configure your solutions appropriately and provide around-the-clock support for any situation. Law firms can experiment with the latest technologies and mobile capabilities with the help of an MSP while giving time back to internal IT personnel.

For small law firms, it’s particularly difficult to set up and maintain IT infrastructure, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT staff member. Partnering with an MSP like Afinety that tailors solutions to your firm and understands the legal industry can benefit you in a number of ways. With a proven record of 99.999 percent uptime, we ensure that you’re able to access important files and business assets anywhere at anytime. Our 24/7/365 support and monitoring will provide peace of mind that we’re here to help and are constantly watching for any unusual behavior that could impact your firm. Contact Afinety today for more information on how partnering with us can bolster your IT capabilities.

3 ways to take advantage of ProLaw (Video)

Is your practice management system limiting your law firm? ProLaw offers major benefits and improves on current processes. Legal teams can take advantage of ProLaw in three main ways.

First, they can use it to streamline their workflow. Customized reports offer critical analysis on revenues and transactions. Secondly, Afinety is fully certified ProLaw partner, offering consultation, training and support. We help ensure ledger reconciliation and advanced reporting capabilities for these environments.

Lastly, ProLaw can run from the Afinety Cloud Platform, enabling a safe and reliable way to access your system from any connected device. For more information on how you can leverage ProLaw, contact Afinety today.

Could your firm pay the price for downtime?

 

Few organizations want to think about what might happen to them if a crisis event arises. Taking the time to set out a clear recovery strategy is essential, but some law firms aren’t following this necessary step or don’t have a plan that adequately covers their operations. Rather than waiting around for disaster to strike, you will want to ask if you could pay the price of downtime and what actions you should be pursuing now to avoid this situation.

Downtime costs on the rise

If your important systems went down, how quickly could you get them back up? Every minute of downtime costs money, and the price is continually rising. According to the Silver Linings report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, law firms might pay up to $12,500 per hour for downtime. As DataBarracks noted, this number represents the entire sector, meaning that the costs might be lower for your particular firm. Regardless, the expenses associated with inactive IT services and hardware are on the rise, and many legal practices simply cannot afford to pay these charges.

Law firms' downtime costs are steadily rising_AfinetyDowntime costs are steadily rising.

Other prices to consider

Downtime itself is dangerous, but there are costs that come on top of it that can truly bring down a business. For one, without access to critical systems and resources, employees will not be as productive as they should be. Lost productivity can lead to missed revenue opportunities and impact your overall bottom line. MSPMentor contributor Dan Kobialka noted that you will also rack up costs for compliance and regulatory violations, recreating lost data and notifying clients of a breach. When clients are notified of prolonged downtime, it will result in a loss of reputation and cause even long-term clients to consider alternatives.

Paying money for downtime itself is considerable, but when you factor in compliance needs, loss of clients and missed revenue generation, downtime becomes much more costly to your firm’s stability. It can take a significant amount of time to fully come back from a breach or downtime event, and expenses from these situations will further hinder your practice’s growth and capabilities.

“A capable provider should have a full understanding of your industry.”

Team up with an IT provider that specializes in law firms

When partnering with IT solutions designed for law firms, like those from Afinety, you will have direct expert support during difficult situations and will not be responsible for maintaining your system. A capable provider should have a full understanding of your industry and your practice’s particular requirements. We tailor our solutions to fit your needs and provide 99.999 percent uptime with our Afinety Cloud Platform solution. Firms can also take advantage of our 24/7/365 monitoring and support capabilities to identify unusual network behavior and prevent issues from occurring.

Downtime isn’t something that any organization wants to experience or pay for. Being hit with such an event can significantly damage your firm and drain your available resources. Teaming up with a partner like Afinety will help outfit your practice with IT solutions that are not only configured to your needs, but also accessible anywhere at anytime. Contact Afinety today to see how our offerings can help you overcome downtime.

Cloud security still a priority for law firm adoption

Why Cloud Security Should Be Priority For Law Offices

Legal practices are starting to relax their restrictions surrounding technology vendors and processes, including the cloud. More firms are transitioning their critical processes to the cloud to reap the benefits that the solution has to offer. Law firms have traditionally held back from upgrades in the past due to budget restrictions, system dependencies and the uncertainty of what the change might mean for their workflows. Cloud improvements have caught the attention of legal groups, but security remains a main priority for mainstream adoption.

Compliance And Governance Needs

The legal industry has a number of regulations that it must abide by in order to maintain compliance and governance standards. Benemen noted that the Legal Services Act, in particular, is essential to ensuring client confidentiality and secure data storage. Other principles deal with how users should access and manage sensitive records, including financial data and personally identifiable information. If an audit shows that rules aren’t being followed, or if information is compromised, law firms can be hit with heavy fines. They’ll also take major hits to their reputation and client relationships.

The cloud must maintain compliance and protect against breaches.The cloud must maintain compliance and protect against breaches.

Legal practices must be sure that their clients’ financial and personal data is backed up and stored appropriately with protections that can handle advancing cyberthreats. By pairing with a capable provider, law firms can build an environment that meets their needs while enforcing security across sensitive documents.

“Cloud protections have improved considerably for consumer and enterprise environments alike.”

Improvements in cloud security

Cloud protections have improved considerably for consumer and enterprise environments alike. InformationWeek contributor Andrew Froehlich noted that end-to-end encryption is being adopted extensively within cloud systems to boost security mechanisms while still providing a flexible architecture. Law firms should ensure that their cloud solution has encryption that protects data in transit and at rest to prevent breaches and maintain compliance. The cloud also enables legal practices to pick and choose the security tools they want, while ensuring that they integrate seamlessly. This eliminates vendor lock-in, allowing you to test and use the solutions that will be best for your organization.

Stringent service-level agreements are increasing security expectations and setting the bar for cloud providers. Thomson Reuters research noted that cloud environments are a more secure starting point than some in-house implementations. Law firms can take advantage of these protections to facilitate mobility requirements and virtualize workloads. Although security needs can be a barrier, advancing protections within the cloud and the benefits it offers can be major drivers for its adoption within the legal industry.

Jump on board

The cloud has long passed its buzzword phase to become a major asset to a variety of industries and use cases. While some law firms may still be hesitant to adopt a new technology, cloud security has advanced significantly in recent years to address enterprise concerns and maintain compliance standards. If you still haven’t started your cloud journey, now could be the best time to do so to reap advantages like mobility without sacrificing security. Team up with a cloud provider like Afinety that understands the intricacies of law firm requirements and how to configure a cloud solution using the finest security available.

Law firm's guide to cyber security white paper_Afinety

Deciding if the cloud is right for your legal practice

 

Cloud computing has advanced significantly over the years, but there are still some organizations that haven’t jumped on board with this technology. Budgets, compliance requirements and other business considerations can hold law firms back from adopting a cloud platform.

Benefits from the cloud speak for themselves – 80 percent of cloud adopters saw significant process improvements within six months of their transition to the cloud platform, and 82 percent reaped substantial cost savings, Law Technology Today contributor Jeff Chandler reported. By following these tips you can decide if the cloud is right for your legal practice:

1. Assess current systems

Adopting a new solution can be daunting, compared to sticking with a familiar system that’s been used over the years. However, these tried-and-true systems might actually be outdated and can create significant workflow bottlenecks. You must ask how staff members are utilizing available tools, and whether they’re providing value or hindering performance.

Law firms must assess their current systems to identify what functions would be replaced with cloud solutions. It will be important to consider where issues are stemming from. Lawyerist contributor Nicole Black suggested building a new cloud-based system for younger practices. Established ones might benefit more from upgrading traditional software for cloud-computing programs. This could help ease the transition without changing everything at once.

“Employees must be able to access critical information when they need it, from any location.”

2. Identify staff needs

Legal roles have evolved over the years to better serve clients and help provide the best outcome. Much of the software used to facilitate these new responsibilities has remained in the past, creating significant holes in functionality and performance. Lawyers no longer stay at a desk or laptop – they’re increasingly using mobile devices while at the courthouse and in the field.

Employees must be able to access critical information when they need it, from any location. This will help them quickly resolve issues or gain important insight for a case. Legal practices must be aware of these types of staff needs to determine if their current solutions are still beneficial. IT Law Group noted that cloud computing can provide the flexibility users require on an as-needed basis. Many providers sell services on-demand, enabling you to quickly scale and pay only for what you use.

3. Secure your data

Security has long been one of the biggest factors holding organizations back from cloud adoption. The law industry has specific regulations that it must abide by to protect client information and maintain compliance. Many providers have some security protocols in place, but they might not be able to fulfill the unique requirements for your legal practice.

Partnering with a service provider that focuses on the legal industry can provide you with the protection you require and the cloud environment that will be right for your firm. Afinety is experienced with configuring and maintaining cloud technology for legal practices. We provide 24/7/365 monitoring to identify any unusual activity and prevent issues before they cause damage. We also maintain 99.999 percent uptime, ensuring the highest level of accessibility possible, and go a step further by offering Multifactor Authentication to confirm users’ identities to safeguard your network. With a cloud solution, you’ll be able to backup and store data securely, preparing your organizations for any situation.

Cloud computing has already made a name for itself, and your legal practice can take advantage of this technology for substantial benefits. By following these tips, you can determine if the cloud is right for your law firm and what considerations to make as you decide on a solution.

What you need to know about your company's cyber security white paper_Afinety